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Ask Dr.Sawhney Your Own Question
Dr.Sawhney, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 6815
Experience:  MBBS,MS
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should you lance a brown recluse spider bite

Customer Question

should you lance a brown recluse spider bite?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr.Sawhney replied 5 years ago.

In most cases the bite does not cause much tissue destruction and in these cases no surgical intervention is needed.
If severe tissue destruction occurs with necrosis of soft tissues in the area of bite surgical intervention in the form of removal of dead and devitalized tissue is needed.
The appearance of the site gives an idea about the extent of tissue damage.
Lancing the area to take out the venom is not indicated and not practiced.
You may also start taking an anti histamine like Zyrtec if you are not taking one already.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
This bite is 1/2 inch from the spine at the base of the hair line on the back of the head. We have read about cold compress but ER told us to apply heat. What is with the conficting info? Also pain in now in upper back and shoulders. The would is leaking slightly and has small anounts of blood. There is an area of black flesh about 1/8 in in diameter at the top of the bite.
Expert:  Dr.Sawhney replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for the reply.

You should apply cold compresses rather than heat as heat has a tendency to promote tissue damage while cold tends to prevent tissue damage.

The black area seems to be pretty small and is not likely to need surgical debridement but if pain is severe and leakage is present you should get this seen by a doctor to rule out an infection.

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